2 North Dakota officers cleared in wounding of suspect

February 4, 2023 GMT

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Two North Dakota police officers who wounded a suspect in an exchange of gunfire have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that the decision allows Williston officers Tyler Iwen and Jordan Patton to return to active duty. They had been on paid administrative leave since the Dec. 9 shooting of 30-year-old Eric Obregon.

Police said in a statement that Patton recognized Obregon after encountering him blocking traffic at a city intersection, and knew that he had outstanding warrants for terrorizing, domestic violence and contempt of court.

When Patton asked him to step out of the vehicle, Obregon fled on foot, with both officers in pursuit.

The department said Obregon reached into his clothing and pulled out a firearm after being told four times to take his hands away. Gunfire erupted, and Obregon was struck in the left leg and foot.

The statement said officers found a firearm next to Obregon and an ammunition magazine in his pocket.

Obregan is charged with felony unlawful possession of a firearm and misdemeanor counts of discharging a firearm in the city and refusal to halt. The felony carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Court documents don’t list an attorney for him.